"Extracurriculars" beyond SAHM duties? (Long, sorry) - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-31-2010, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So much to respond to. Thank you all for your very insightful and thoughtful replies. Wish I could respond to everyone right now but I will have to get back to this tomorrow. I will check out the book that was recommended, I will consider bringing up the housecleaners idea (pretty sure he'll nix that one) and I'm constantly trying to learn better ways to get on top of the house cleaning. Tigerchild, we've never participated in a co-op before and you've given me a good perspective on what might be expected. Aside from my assisting in the classroom about twice a month I didn't think there'd be too much expected. I do like the aspect of it that involves me being part of the community, that's part of what I liked about it, or at least it's a welcome side effect. Just didn't picture it taking much time outside of classroom time. I think they didn't spell it out, and dh and I were both surprised by it. My slip-up if I missed it, because I'm the one who did the research and decision about preschool for ds2. (I got info from two local co-ops and I think I conflated them in some ways.)

Anyway, lots of sound advice here and yes, the issues go far beyond cleanliness (though my ds doesn't seem to agree much when I tell him that) and it's just the latest manifestation. It's definitely the largest day-to-day issue we have. A lot of you saw through that and it's something we'll need to deal with, counseling should be in our future, we might just be waiting for better health insurance next year. (Everything is money... )
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Old 07-31-2010, 11:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by reezley View Post
Tigerchild, we've never participated in a co-op before and you've given me a good perspective on what might be expected. Aside from my assisting in the classroom about twice a month I didn't think there'd be too much expected. I do like the aspect of it that involves me being part of the community, that's part of what I liked about it, or at least it's a welcome side effect. Just didn't picture it taking much time outside of classroom time. I think they didn't spell it out, and dh and I were both surprised by it. My slip-up if I missed it, because I'm the one who did the research and decision about preschool for ds2.
I think most folks don't realize how co-ops work--what's on paper is often different than the reality. But keep in mind that you might get hooked on it too! (I never anticipated myself doing co-op elementary as a parent; I assumed I would homeschool our children.) I know I certainly had no idea what I was getting in to at first, but I've had a lot of fun and made so many good friends it's been worth it.

I don't know that I would ask your DH about a housekeeper, as in should we get one.

I would be blunt. "Honey, we fight about housekeeping every day. I feel like you are always angry and frustrated with me, and I know that I'm feeling more and more disconnected from you every time we fight about this. I've been researching cleaning services. I found one that costs X amount every other week. I've decided to cut W, Y, and Z from the budget, which should give us X and some wiggle room. I'd really like to try seeing if calling in reinforcements for awhile will help things, instead of looking for a counselor right away, because right now that's how I feel like things are heading. I don't want to fight with you about housework all the time, I don't want to feel like you are judging me only by how the house looks and not for all the other things that I'm doing to keep our DC happy and healthy. It's really making me sad, which makes it even harder to catch up. I'd like to go ahead and hire this cleaning service for 6 months to see if things improve. It would make me happiest if you would give me a hug and consider this a gift to me because you love me and you're tired of fighting too and we can see if this can help us keep a peaceful home until I get my feet under me."
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:16 AM
 
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counseling should be in our future, we might just be waiting for better health insurance next year. (Everything is money... )
marriage counseling can be a wonderful thing! You might check out low or no cost options where you live, or get a good book on marriage and work through it together.

Good luck!

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 08-02-2010, 01:15 AM
 
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I think he doesn't realize how hard it can be to keep a clean house with a 5 and 3 yr old! I have a 3.5 and a 4.5 year old and doing the dishes (we don't have a dishwasher) can be a challenge! Start and stop, start and stop. I rarely get to the deep cleaning because I spend all day keeping the surface picked up.

My DH was home for 2 weeks over Christmas and after a week he said to me "I can't believe how fast this house gets trashed" I responded that when he comes home to a messy house, it's because I haven't picked it up for the 3rd time that day. It gave him some real perspective of life at home with toddlers/preschoolers.

There is a lot of things your DH can do to help. Mainly, he can take the kids out so you have some time to do stuff in peace, he gets quality times with his children and you get some free time. The other night, DH took the kids to his brothers and I got done in 1 hour what I can't do all day with them home. If he isn't part of the solution, he's part of the problem.

That's a marriage/respect issue, not a co-op issue.

We do co-op preschool and we absolutely LOVE it! It is definitely not a traditional, drop-your-kids off and go shopping environment. But, we just love being part of a community, I loved getting to know all my son's classmates and their parents. I have developed friendships that I will maintain long after my kids graduate. My daughter was really stranger shy but co-op (she wasn't in class last year, but was with me a lot) has helped her develop trusted relationships with adults other than me. She starts class this year and already knows most of the moms and kids she will be with. Our school is truly a village, we trade baby-sitting, set up meals for moms with new babies, pick up kids who needs rides when needed. Our teacher lost her brother this spring and we had 2 weeks worth of meals set up in a few hours. There are just not that many community environments still around.

People participate at different levels. Some people put in the minimum time and that's ok. I am a joiner and helped with fundraisers and am treasurer this year. Even being treasurer doesn't take that much time. (helps that I was an accountant before becoming a SAHM)

You still will have tons of time with your older one in full day kindergarten. Co-op doesn't take that much time up. Co-op is definitely not for everyone, but for us, it's been amazing.

Honestly, though, if it wasn't co-op, it would be something else. If my DH "seethed" about the house and actually commented that I shouldn't have outside interests because I need to do housework, we would have serious serious serious issues.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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just had a flash back --- one time when my kids were both really little my mom commented that I couldn't keep my house clean because I spent too much time running around to things like play group and the park. I bit her head off and yelled that it really doesn't help when I stay home! I couldn't clean while taking care of two toddlers anyway!

(We had a house cleaner come in every other week so things didn't get gross)

Have you ever left you kids with your DH for 9 hours on a Saturday? It might be good for your marriage. Be sure and tell him to make dinner and do at least one load of laundry, and do something interseting with the kids because his real job is make sure they have a wonderful life (so no cheating by parking them infront of a DVD).

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 08-02-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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I only have a minute, but if you want to get out and volunteer, then you should. If your dh wants a cleaner house, then take that $200 extra tuition and get a housecleaner! You both are entitled to your own opinions on the house and extracurriculurs. I see that both can be met.

Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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Old 08-02-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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I find that the more time I'm out and about the cleaner my house is. Nothing gets to you like sitting in a messy house thinking about how much cleaning you have to do!

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:37 AM
 
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I'm a SAHM with two little boys. Keeping the house clean has been a steep learning curve for me. But what really helped me was understanding what it was my husband was truly looking for. It wasn't about dirty vs clean, or neat vs cluttered. When we sat down and talked about it, he said he wanted a house that was a home, a place that was hospitable.
When I understood his heart in the matter, suddenly my capacity for keeping things together took on a whole new meaning. It became not about keeping the peace between us, but about blessing him at the end of the day. Now I feel like we have this mutual goal, so that he knows that I am doing my best everyday.
Sometimes that best is really just keeping the peace between the kids and anything else I do is gravy. I try not to leave leftover lunch on the table on those days, and that's it. If he comes home and there is a peaceful vibe in the air, then even if things aren't "clean", he knows I've done my job as "mom".
You shouldn't get down on yourself, or feel like you aren't as good at "it" as everyone else. A friend of mine once told me, "you've never done this before! No one expects you to know how!" My favorite thing to do is ask for help from my friends who have daughters in the 12-15 year old range. They tend to like to hang out with little kids and enjoy the $10 a week they get for lugging my laundry around or cleaning the bathroom. If your mom is nearby, ask her. There's no shame in needing help, there just isn't. If anything having people over, helps me see what areas I need to de-clutter and it keeps me motivated to keep up on things.
Have a heart to heart with your husband, maybe there's something he's having trouble expressing and it just comes out with frustration instead of something constructive.
Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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When I did housekeeping, I had a very sweet mama that like you, just stunk at housekeeping (by her own words!) Instead of me cleaning her house while she was gone, she would actually clean house with me. I think it helped her feel less overwhelmed, as her house had gotten into a state where she just didn't know what to do/where to start. And as time went on her house was less and less cluttered, less untidy, as I came over.

Maybe this would work for you? As a compromise, it would also "show" your dh that you are working on this issue between you.
I think this is the best solution. OP needs to learn how to clean efficiently. This, along with decluttering, will go a long way. It doesn't have to take all day to get the house clean, and a pro will be able to show you how to do it properly.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:15 PM
 
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I've only read the OP, but can totally relate. The kids are almost 4 and 5.5, and I'm the president of the board of directors of our preschool plus I am an assistant coordinator of another group that has to do with the kids' food allergies. The preschool stuff takes up quite a bit of time, but I *like* doing it. The allergy stuff takes up less stuff as I have less responsibility, but there are meetings to attend.

I'm kind of 'untidy', but not 'unclean', as in I have a high tolerance for clutter, but can't stand too much dirt. My DH is opposite, so he gets annoyed at me for the clutter and I get annoyed at him wearing his shoes through the house and leaving footprints on our white kitchen floor, or letting the kids eat messy food over the carpet in front of the TV.

We do get a cleaner to come over every 2 weeks to do the vacuuming, sweeping, mopping and bathrooms. I try to keep on top of the laundry, we share the kitchen, and I will try to tidy up before the cleaner comes so at least she can vacuum the floor! I do feel like I should do a better job at keeping the house organized, but it's OK for now.

The 'extra curricular' stuff keeps my brain from completely atrophying.

Mama to my two sweet monkeys - DD '04 and DS '06
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